Otago Daily Times

The method against the mad­ness

- Business · Productivity · Lifestyle · Lifehacks · Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

‘‘There’s a whole process you go through,’’ Mr Mul­hol­land said.

Usu­ally he and his con­sul­tants start by get­ting an agree­ment with the chief ex­ec­u­tive to put the plan in place. Then they work, nor­mally with a C­level man­ager, to carry out a risk as­sess­ment.

‘‘Hey, you’re liv­ing in Queen­stown. That’s a ma­jor earth­quake risk be­cause of the south­ern fault­line. It’s fairly iso­lated. It’s only prob­a­bly got two comms links into the city. Iso­late all of those risks.’’

Then he looks at im­pact; what is the im­pact if you can­not do your busi­ness?

‘‘There are crit­i­cal ar­eas. If you’re run­ning a call cen­tre you still need to be able to an­swer your clients. If you’re a man­u­fac­turer you need to be able to be push­ing your goods out your door.’’

After the im­pacts are known, they work out a strat­egy.

It is com­mon to have two data cen­tres or mov­ing data into the cloud.

An­other op­tion is to have an­other op­er­a­tion in an­other city.

‘‘If we’re talk­ing call cen­tres what you of­ten see is peo­ple, if the call cen­tre fails, they can just go to an­other lo­ca­tion and sign in and start work­ing.’’

Busi­nesses also must know how their cus­tomers will be im­pacted by any changes.

‘‘Eighty per­cent of your in­come nor­mally comes from 20% of your clients, so of course you fo­cus on them.’’

A bud­get needs to be ap­plied to the plans. There are cheaper strate­gies and there are ‘‘Rolls Royce’’ plans.

‘‘If you go for the Rolls Royce it’s go­ing to cost you a lot of money.

‘‘Only air­lines, banks, hos­pi­tals are get­ting into that game now, [and] need the Rolls Royce so­lu­tions.

‘‘Other com­pa­nies can live with­out their sys­tems for 24 hours, 48 hours or some up to a week.’’

Mr Mul­hol­land said many busi­nesses take sev­eral years to put in place be­cause of the bud­get­ing and train­ing re­quired.

Then tests of the plan need to be car­ried out with a cri­sis man­age­ment team that dic­tates how the plan is car­ried out.

‘‘And then once it’s in place you just keep it up to date.’’ be­cause they’re hav­ing to deal with some­thing that is to­tally dif­fer­ent. There may be dead bod­ies in the pas­sage­way, there may be some­one out­side with a gun . . . build­ings col­laps­ing, or they’ve got prob­lems at home.’’

He said some peo­ple will rise to the oc­ca­sion, but they have to be con­trolled as well.

‘‘Look you’ve got to go home, you’ve been here for 12 hours, you need a rest [and] we’ll see you at eight o’clock to­mor­row morn­ing.

‘‘It’s re­ally adren­a­line pump­ing as well.’’

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